$1M lottery winner pleads guilty to theft

Jan 21, 2013, 6:34 am (42 comments)

Massachusetts Lottery

Swindled $21,000 from his oil company's customers

LOWELL, Mass. — A Chelmsford, Massachusetts, man who won $1 million from a Massachusetts State Lottery ticket in 2009 will serve at least 18 months behind bars after he admitted to swindling more than $21,000 from his home oil company's customers, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.

Michael Santaniello, 60, of Chelmsford, pleaded guilty in Lowell District Court last week to stealing money from more than a dozen of his clients, many of whom are elderly, by collecting deposits for service or repairs to home oil tanks and burners that he never completed, Leone said in a statement. Santaniello owns Mike's Oil Heat Service in Chelmsford.

"This defendant targeted seniors, many of whom had been his customers for years, and took advantage of them by taking deposits for work he never intended to perform and materials he never provided," Leone said in a statement.

The prosecutor said that a gambling addiction led Santaniello to cheat his customers. After Santaniello won $1 million in 2009, he won another $23,000 from the lottery over the next two years, Leone said.

Santaniello gets about $35,000 a year after taxes through 2029 from his $1 million lottery win.

"This case demonstrates how addiction, when left untreated, can lead a person to such despair and selfishness that they would manipulate and deceive vulnerable, trusting members of our community who deserve better," Leone's statement said, noting that a judge ordered Santaniello to also enroll in Gamblers Anonymous.

Santaniello pleaded guilty to several charges, including four counts of larceny over $250 from a person over 60 years of age; six counts of larceny over $250; larceny by check over $250; larceny over $250 by false pretenses; and failure to return leased personal property, according to the district attorney's office.

Santaniello was ordered to pay restitution to clients from Chelmsford, Billerica, Lexington, Burlington, Wilmington, Somerville, Bedford and Westford, Leone said.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

Seattlejohn

What. A. Dumbass...

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

I guess gambling can be as big a problem as anything else if it gets a hold of ya as an addiction.

I think I have too much of a dread for losing to ever fall prey to that.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and that's probably the hardest thing for an addict to do.

Heaven knows I'd admit my faults and flaws right away. 

If I had any.  Big Grin

helpmewin's avatarhelpmewin

Quote: Originally posted by rdgrnr on Jan 21, 2013

I guess gambling can be as big a problem as anything else if it gets a hold of ya as an addiction.

I think I have too much of a dread for losing to ever fall prey to that.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and that's probably the hardest thing for an addict to do.

Heaven knows I'd admit my faults and flaws right away. 

If I had any.  Big Grin

were here is you need us rdg,Yes Nod

sully16's avatarsully16

Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

Jessylove

Wish yuh luck guys! :DBig Smile

Cletu$2's avatarCletu$2

Quote: Originally posted by sully16 on Jan 21, 2013

Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

I Agree!   Couldn't have said it any better,myself.

lottolaughs's avatarlottolaughs

Yeesh! There always seems to be some kind of negative story about people who win the lottery...talk about shady pasts! Better not buy a ticket unless you've got nothing to hide...it will all come out if you win,lol. 

hearsetrax's avatarhearsetrax

Quote: Originally posted by sully16 on Jan 21, 2013

Heating your home is expensive enough, and to add insult to injury, he took advantage of the elderly, more human garbage, throw away the key and keep his cell at a nice 60 degrees.

this piece of garbage as U put it ought to feel the effects of 1600 to 1800 degrees in a small oven

savagegoose's avatarsavagegoose

the sweet thing is he is being paid by an annuity, so cant shirk on his repayments of debts.

 

im not an ahole so i could never get into this sort of trouble.

Ronnie316

18 month behind bars should be a good "treatment" for his illness?

Todd's avatarTodd

Quote: Originally posted by savagegoose on Jan 21, 2013

the sweet thing is he is being paid by an annuity, so cant shirk on his repayments of debts.

 

im not an ahole so i could never get into this sort of trouble.

Great point.

Nikkicute

This rascal won another $23,000 after he won $1milWhat?

Dang!! have good honest people who have not won even once!

RJOh's avatarRJOh

It's hard to live or act like a millionaire when your million comes $35K yearly after taxes over 30 years.

Jill34786's avatarJill34786

Quote: Originally posted by RJOh on Jan 21, 2013

It's hard to live or act like a millionaire when your million comes $35K yearly after taxes over 30 years.

I Agree!.  His payments are also only for 20 years.

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